Forever in Our Hearts
Meet Mohawk the River Cat, aka River Rabbit, aka Old Man, aka Old Man River… best known as just River.
Back up product tester. Alarm clock and Cooper’s trainer, since someone has to keep the young bully in check. And head nap taker.
This kid adopted us, more than the other way around and I wish I had taken a hundred more pictures. He was an adorable, long legged, crazy kitten with a blond stripe on his head and a stubborn streak we couldn’t ignore.
He was just a little underweight when my husband first found him the day after the noisy July holidays, sleeping on his motorcycle seat. Only thing was, hubby needed to go to work so he took the scraggly, oil spotted kitten-cat and set him on the ground.
Hop. River jumped right back on his seat.
Hubby put him down on the ground again.
Hop. Right back up on the motorcycle again.
That is when River entered my life.
I bathed him, got some dirt in a box and ran across the street to tell the anti-pet landlord. They said, “Ahh, he’s just a river cat. Put him out,” but they did agree to give me a week to find the kitten-cat a new home. So I went back home and called the shelter to see if anyone was missing an adorable, friendly kitten-cat.
The lady that answered at the shelter sounded as if she had fielded this call already a thousand times that day. She was all, “Bring him in, we’ll take care of him.” Uhh… take care?…. no. No I got him.
He was a bag of energy back then and loved to hide under the computer desk to pounce your feet whenever you walked by. I had to lock him up when I slept or he would play with my eyelashes when I was dreaming. Kind of scary to wake up with kitty claws that close to your eyeballs! Still, I loved that week with him.
He had to go, but my in-laws took him in so I got to watch him grow up and tend to him when he was ill. Like the time he ate pennies.
Why pennies? I do not know.
He grew fat with the in-laws, owing to the fact he ate all the food they provided, ate the neighbor cat’s food and hunted rats.
Age mellowed him. Living with kids and dogs kept him strong and yet soft. My niece could carry him upside down and he’d just give a slightly annoyed expression.
We got a new place allowing cats but River was no longer ours. He had become my niece’s cat while he was away. The two even slept together! It was adorable! So, we adopted one-year Cooper only to then learn that River had a lump on his abdomen. What?! They brought him to my hospital and we took it off, but they had a puppy and were concerned about River healing, so I took him home to heal.
Cooper and River were not instant friends, which was no surprise since the adoption agency said Cooper was not good with other cats. We had many issues to start, so River did have his own room but they started cleaning each other and sleeping together so the old-man-cat healed well and returned home.
River did not do well at the in-laws thought. It was decided that he would have to be put down. He wasn’t playing. He wasn’t eating. There was diarrhea and vomiting. He was just going down fast.
It was the longest ride from the in-laws to the vet. I’d have to put my old man down. I had failed him. Why couldn’t I have kept him in the beginning and had more time with him? He was a river cat. His days were always numbered. The wild is no easy place to live… He was wobbly on the ride and didn’t even cry. He used to sing such stories on car rides, but he just laid there, pressed up against the carrier for my scratches…. There is nothing like that heartache.
His doc didn’t agree! It wasn’t time for him to go! He just needed specialized treatment of a vet and vet-tech duo. Me! He got to come home forever!
The old man is still an old man and still needs medical management, but he is back to being top cat of the house and beats up the younger Cooper when the kid gets too playful. I think the old man is good to keep Cooper in line and teach him how to be a cat and I think Cooper is good for the old man, keeping him young and playful.